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"Losing" sound on SD or restart..

By scudrunner9
Dec 21, 2010
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  1. This is a friend's PC, Dell Optiplex260, WinXP/SP2 which I have reinstalled (r method, not formatted) twice trying to fix this.

    There is sound, no conflicts, nothing, everything is as it should be.....except when it is shut down or re-started; then it vanishes into thin air, although it IS still there, it just doesn't load!!

    I get it back by uninstalling SoundMAX and then either re-booting (sometimes it will say it found new hardware, sometimes not but it does reinstall it) or by using Add/Remove Hardware, BUT neither method adds the sound icon to the sys tray. The only I can get it there is to run a little prog. called Taskbar Repair Tool.

    Once I do all that, everything is fine, as if there is no problem at all, until it is either shut down or re-booted.
    I have set a restore point when all is well, re-booted so I know it is gone again, restore and it still is not there. (well, it is, I just have to go through the process again)

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated before I'm totally bald!!!
     
  2. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, com'on guys/gals.....

    54 views and no one can even venture a 'guess' as to why
    this is happening???

    I'm not an 'expert' by any stretch, but thinking about it leads
    me to think that either sys.ini or win.ini (wherever it's stored)
    is not saving the sound info which is why it disappears on either
    a Shut Down or Re-Start; but why???

    If the sound is working properly, everything checks out, passes
    all tests, etc., etc., etc., why is that info not being 'stored' so it
    can be 're-implemented' on the next boot (like everything else)????

    The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking, this has to be
    something simple, but I don't know what it is..........
     
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,978   +362

    Maybe I missed it but I didn't see where you tried installing the onboard sound driver.
     
  4. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @Mailpup, thanks for the reply.

    I'll try to explain better.

    Yes, after going to Device Man. (where, btw, there is no yellow !, everything is shown as being normal; it's only by going to Sounds that it says No Audio Device) and un-installing SoundMAX, I can then re-install it by either re-starting (sometimes it says Found New Hardware, sometimes not, but it does re-install it) or by using Add/Remove Hardware. Neither way adds the sound icon to the Notification Area on the lower right though. Can only do that by using the Taskbar Repair Tool Plus program. (and that is not 'totally critical' as I have added a sndvol32.exe shortcut to both QuickLaunch and the Desktop.....the advantage of having it there would be to know that it loaded without having to go to Sounds every time to see if the sound device is installed)

    Nonetheless, after it is re-installed, everything works fine, until it is either Shutdwown or Re-started and then the sound disappears. (still no yellow ! but Sound will say No Audio Device) and then the process has to start over to get it back.

    I just can't figure out how it is 'losing' it either on a SD or RS.

    What's weird is that it also 'loses' it during the Windows (XP/SP2) re-install.
    I'm forgetting the exact process, but at some point when it is re-loading the files, the sound icon will show up in the lower right but by the time the entire process is finished, it will be gone. (it's in DM showing it's fine but Sound will say No Sound Device)

    I have DLd and re-installed the drivers from Dell.
    I have, through Run/cmd, extracted the sndvol32.exe file to Sys32. (which does make it bigger by about 80kb or so but obviously doesn't solve the problem)

    As I said, I think this is probably something that is staring me right in the face but I'm not 'seeing the forest for the trees'........

    Any ideas, even crazy ones, certainly appreciated.
     
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    I would check the default sound card, to ensure its the correct one being listed.

    Click start > control panel > Sounds and audio devices > click Audio tab > confirm the correct audio is selected for default device in device playback.

    Also, please look in device manager and let us know if anything has a triangle and yellow question mark next to it.

    Failing that, its possible that your recovery re-installs have corrupted the sound drivers for audio, and as such a destructive format and clean install might in fact be quicker on this occasion.
     
  6. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Leeky,

    Thank you for a reply as well.

    This is my ex and stepson's unit. I did take it back so they could at least use it. (and it does have sound)

    It will be Wednesday before I can look at it again but I am positive it lists SoundMAX for both Playback and Recording and MS for Midi, but I will re-check.

    As far as DM goes, absolutely positive there NO 'red flags' there. Properties on SoundMAX say 'This device is working properly', even before doing the reinstall process. I know it's not because Sounds says, No Audio Device.

    > Failing that, its possible that your recovery re-installs have corrupted the sound drivers for audio

    OK, presuming that is true, how do I get rid of them to do a clean install?

    Because that was my thinking too, which is why I went to Dell and DLd them and re-installed them. (although, I do remember reading something once that said that even re-installing drivers can get screwed up because of the remnants of the old (corrupted) files still being there.

    Where are those driver files listed? They are there somewhere because I can remember seeing them, just can't remember where it was.....
    At least I could manually delete them and then try a re-install of them and see what happens.

    I hate to even think about your final suggestion!!! :(
     
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Could you reconfirm the model number? Dell shows an Optiplex GX260? or a GX260N?. Tho both models seem to use the same ADI 198x Integrated Audio driver (which is Soundmax)

    Have you tried looking in Add/Remove Programs and uninstalling any ADI/Soundmax entry from there? Then download and reinstall the audio driver found on the Dell download support site for that model

    /* edit */
    One other thing i notice (though i don't know if related) is you're still running XP SP2. You might also consider backing stuff up (at least all personal files/folders if not a full image backup), making sure you have plenty disk space (min 7-8 GB) available and then upgrading to XP SP3 as well
     
  8. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @LookingAround,

    Thank YOU for your reply as well.........
    A 'Chancellor', figure that's higher than 'Special Forces'!!
    Pulling out the 'big guns!!! :)

    Yea, definitely GX260. Have a friend, who I have spent so much time cleaning up his and his son's PC from crapware, that when he upgraded his office PCs (he's a Dell guy...) that he gave me his three 'now old' PCs, a Dimension 4600 and two GX260s. Kept the 4600 for me for music only, one 260 for stepson Will, when he's at my house, and the other 260 to take home to replace his mom's '98 machine. (he was in PC heaven......when I was a kid, we played outside and the closest thing to a PC was an electric train or Model Motoring!! :)

    > Have you tried looking in Add/Remove Programs and uninstalling any ADI/Soundmax entry from there?

    THAT is an interesting thought......(must be why you're a Chancellor!! :)

    And, I would have 'never' thought about looking for it there, thinking it is onboard and 'not a program, per se', but I fired up his and it IS there and called him and it is on his one at home. (btw, not on the Dim 4600)

    So.....my 'BIG' question in regard to that question is.....if I'm uninstalling it through Device Manager, wouldn't / shouldn't that remove it from A/R programs as well???

    There is NO way I'm going to try this on Will's machine, (the one I have access to) as we added Ram, a vid card and a HD to it and he has more games on it that you can shake a stick at and if I screw his sound up I'll never hear the end of it.....so i'll have to wait and try it on 'his / mom's at his house.

    > One other thing i notice (though i don't know if related) is you're still running XP SP2. You might also consider backing stuff up (at least all personal files/folders if not a full image backup), making sure you have plenty disk space (min 7-8 GB) available and then upgrading to XP SP3 as well

    Not related, IMHO. Running two others that I re-installed the original XP/SP2 disk on, after doing all the updates, including SP3, and had problems, and decided to leave them alone. Neither has had the first update, one laptop, one desktop, never the first problem.
    Of course, they are well protected and checked regularly.....

    3.1, '98, XP/SP2, MS's best!! (I know, I'm old!!! :)
     
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    "Special Forces" also volunteer their time and effort to help moderate the forums. But, otherwise, we all help where we can. (And i was just the first one to suggest the "uninstall from Add/Remove Programs" trick ;) )

    i can explain "why".

    Those "driver" EXE files often contain more then just the drivers themselves.They often contain other software such as control panel applets, notification status icons, etc. (this is very typical when you install Network, Audio and Grahpics "driver" EXE files)

    > When you "install" the EXE file, it installs the drivers plus whatever other software that comes packed into the EXE file
    > When you uninstall from Device Manager, Windows only uninstalls the device (from the registry) but it it doesn't delete the driver files. So on reboot, Windows re-detects the device, finds the driver files and reinstall the driver.

    Uninstalling from Add/Remove will uninstall the device from the registry, uninstall its "extras" (that came in the original EXE file) plus delete all the files.If you reboot now, Windows should complain it can't find drivers. Then download and reinstall the Audio driver EXE file from the Dell support site

    /* edit */
    btw.. am hoping this might help but don't know that this is the solution. Try it and let us know
     
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Oh.

    A couple more points
    On the one hand, should be 99% OK to uninstall / reinstall the audio from Add/Remove. (The reason for 1% caution is just as the only thing 100% certain about computers is "ain't nuthin'" 100% certain about computers!)

    But that's also a good reason you might also want to look at running backup "images" of the hard drive. So if anything goes wrong, one call always restore the entire the disk image to the moment at time of the backup. EASUS ToDo Backup is a good freeware tool. I bought Acronis True Image for myself.

    I also happen to provide remote support to family... I often use LogMeIn free (for remote connecting and working on remote family's computer from home. You should be able to get remote access as long Windows boots up in Normally mode and there's a network connection).
     
  11. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @ LookingAround

    Thanks again for your idea, but I'm still 'looking around' too; no joy after today's session with 'the monster'!! :(

    I really thought since it was in A/R Progs that it was the 'you dummy, why didn't you look there too' answer.....

    But after doing it twice, same result on SD/RS, sound not loaded.
    (I just left it with everything working with the sound icon in the Not. Area and told Will to instruct mom not to turn it off!!! :)
    but showed him 'the process' in case she does!!!)

    Interesting that after the re-installs, neither time did it put the icon in the Not. Area.
    Still only done with the Taskbar Repair prog.
    (I had that problem with my Toshiba laptop once, same kind of process, but once it was working, all I had to do was UN-check 'show icon in taskbar', apply, ok, close, re-open, check put icon in taskbar, apply, ok and it would be there. That doesn't work in this situation.

    What is boggling my mind now is why that 'trick' doesn't work.....but the Taskbar Repair Tool prog DOES make it appear in the Not. Area.

    If I could just figure out how on startup to code Windows to load the audio drivers and add the TRT's icon command, I'd be set!!! :)

    Anyway, I just want to say thanks to you, Leeky and Mailpup for the effort.
    I'm still open for ideas for anyone looking.....

    But, I've pretty much convinced myself this is a 'Windows' problem that even the (r) install doesn't/won't fix, and, as long as it can be fixed through 'the process', I'm considering this 'case closed'......

    It may be a year from now, depending on how big of a 'thorn in the side' this is and how hard I work on it, but I'll let you know how I solved it without having to do the 'dastardly deed'.....format, reinstall......

    I just want someone to tell me why 'the process' works but Windows doesn't 'save it' and it's not loaded on the next re-start!!!!!! :)

    Thanks again, it's been fun! (well, kind of!! :)
     
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Thanks for all the info on the continuing saga!!

    A few more thoughts

    i googled and found this MS KB link. It's easy to simply try the MS automated fixit provided

    That said, it's also hard to say if it's worth killing yourself over a fix for this problem since its also not clear if the fix might simply be XP SP3? . Which also raises the question why you have problems when you've tried the upgrade before (maybe it also even the same underlying problem causing all your problems? i dunno.)

    SP3 works for MOST people. I have seen it fail for a few. If you try again i'd first
    > Run chkdsk /r to fix any filesystem errors (in fact, may as well do that in any case)
    > And make sure there's plenty of free disk space

    Also look at the Before You Begin steps in this MS link
    about SP3 upgrades should you try it again. (and of course, create a drive image backup first)
     
  13. scudrunner9

    scudrunner9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @ LookingAround,

    You don't give up do you!! :)

    > i googled and found this MS KB link. It's easy to simply try the MS automated fixit provided

    Already tried that..........

    > Run chkdsk /r to fix any filesystem errors (in fact, may as well do that in any case)

    One of the first things I did, forgot to mention it........

    > That said, it's also hard to say if it's worth killing yourself over a fix for this problem since its also not clear if the fix might simply be XP SP3?

    May try that if I put a bigger HD in but, in theory, there should be no 'fix' in SP3 for a PC that was released and worked fine six years before SP3 was released......

    Will keep you posted if / when I fix it, although it's not high priority anymore since the way it is right now, it doesn't have the first problem.......until a SD / RS......

    Thanks again. Have a great day and a better tomorrow!! :)
     

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